Starz is turning to a Facebook app to put some marketing might behind the third season of signature franchise “Spartacus.” The “Take Up Arms” app will be complemented by sponsorship plays on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, along with in-cinema, outdoor, print and cable buys leading up to the late-January season premiere.
“This is kind of our early buzz generation,” said Kelly Bumann, Starz’ senior vice president of consumer marketing.
The app, housed on the “Spartacus” Facebook page with its nearly 2 million “likes,” includes multiple challenges with an array of prize opportunities, including a trip to New Zealand. Participants must “like” the “Spartacus” page to join the multilayered game.
The initial challenge involves recruiting, where users can earn points by bringing aboard up to six Facebook friends a day to join an “army” and follow one of the show’s characters. A second challenge allows a person to create a show-themed mash-up with clips, graphics and music, which can be shared.
Other challenges involve customizing photos and a personal “suit-up” image that can be placed on a Facebook wall.
Bumann said the aim is to attract a “broad range of fans … you don’t necessarily need to be a gamer,” with Starz looking to “get people excited and feed enthusiasm in the show.” Starz worked with Los Angeles agency And Company to develop the app.
As Starz looks to broaden its reach with original series to compete with other pay-TV networks, “Spartacus” is a tentpole. Bumann called it "an opportunity to build distinction for our network brand."
The third go-round of the series, debuting Jan. 27, carries the title “Spartacus: Vengeance.”